Ohio man pleads guilty and admits to attack on LGBTQ-friendly church

Aimenn D. Penny threw Molotov cocktails at the Community Church of Chesterland in a "reprehensible" act of "violence and terror," prosecutors say.

Google Maps

An Ohio man pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his "reprehensible" bid to burn down a church that's supportive of LGBTQ rights, officials said Tuesday.

Aimenn D. Penny, 20, of Alliance, Ohio, threw Molotov cocktails at the Community Church of Chesterland on March 25, hoping to torch it because it had scheduled upcoming drag events, according to court documents.

Penny pleaded guilty to using fire and explosives to commit a felony and to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act, legislation President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996 in response to a string of attacks on Black churches.

Penny faces up to 20 years behind bars, according to the Justice Department. His sentencing was set for Jan. 29.

When Penny was arrested this year, federal agents searched his home and found a “hand-written manifesto that contained ideological statements, a Nazi flag, Nazi memorabilia, a White Lives Matter of Ohio T-shirt, a gas mask, multiple rolls of blue painters tape and gas cans,” a criminal complaint said.

The court document called “White Lives Matter” a group with “racist, pro-Nazi, and homophobic views.”

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

Contact Us